A SCOTTISH-BASED charity is showcasing the work it has been doing in the Colombian peace process by training local people to dispose of landmines.

The HALO Trust, Scotland's largest NGO and the world's biggest humanitarian landmine clearance charity has been working in the country since 2009 and clearing mines since a peace-deal was agreed in 2016.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres yesterday visited a minefield in the area of Meta to see the progress which has been made since then.

Mr. Guterres said: "I am deeply moved to see the enthusiasm, the commitment of the authorities, the communities, the ex-combatants with the construction of peace in Colombia.

“I would like to express my extreme admiration for all the staff at HALO for their magnificent work which is bringing benefit to the Colombian people.

"Improving not only the conditions for peace but also development and well-being of its people.”

Colombia has been involved in one of the bloodiest conflicts in the world, with civil war raging between the government and FARC militants for more than 50 years, making it the second most mine-affected country in the world.

Halo's CEO Major General James Cowan said that the charity recruits local people -- some of whom are ex-fighters -- to dispose of the mines, allowing displaced communities to return to their land and their homes.

He said: "It's not just about clearing the landmines, it's about taking them out of the fight and giving them something productive to do."

By the end of September 2017, the charity had safely destroyed more than 350 mines across 109 minefields.

Major General Cowan added: "You need events like this to remind people of a sense of momentum and give them a sense of optimism in the process.

"We're giving them a future, we're giving them hope and that why these events matter, as it reminds people to keep going with the process rather than go back to what it was before."